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Sunday, September 06, 2009

My Kingdom for Some Potato Skins

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered potato skins from Boston Pizza. That is, I attempted to order potato skins from Boston Pizza.

"Sorry, we only serve the Southwest Skins now," said the BP representative.

"All right," I answered reluctantly.

The Southwest Skins arrived some time later - potato skins laden not with delicious cheese, chives and bacon bits, but with BBQ sauce, chicken and some kind of white stuff. I ate them with little relish, wondering why Boston Pizza would choose to eliminate such a staple appetizer in favour of this weird-tasting mess. But I consoled myself with the thought that many restaurants carry potato skins, and I could simply order them from somewhere else.

Tonight, I felt like potato skins. I thought I'd try Tony Roma's - they have excellent skins.

Or they used to. They're no longer on the menu.

All right, maybe Red Robin...


Royal Pizza?


I was getting desperate. Denny's?


Swiss Chalet? No. Montana's? No. Outback Steakhouse? No.

What happened? Have potato skins suddenly fallen off the map as an appetizer of choice? Am I going to be forced to (choke) MAKE MY OWN POTATO SKINS????

If anyone knows where I can acquire some potato skins in Edmonton, preferably on the west end, please leave a comment below. I really need a fix.


Edward ScissorJeff said...

Now you know how the Irish felt.

What? Too soon for a Potato Famine joke?

Obviously, you've fallen prey to the great Tomato Sauce Conspiracy, which we've been over in the BeforeBlog (the one that got "erased" when I shed light on the TSC and published my do-it-yourself barbecue sauce).

This time it's potatoes. Probably the potato skins are being removed from menus becuase they are unbelieveably bad for you. Fortunately, the Internet comes to your rescue. The top search yields a very easy recipe that's got to be as bad for you as the restaurant skins (and as tasty!).


(of course, I have to break up the address)

The only thing you have to be careful of is the oil. When they say an oil has a high smoke point, that means it can get very hot before it starts to smoke. Butter and vegetable oils have low smoke points. Use these on high heat only if you've already painted your kitchen walls black. Olive oil has a medium smoke point. Grapeseed and peanut oil have high smoke points, making them useful for stir fry. Plus, they taste awesome cooked.

Flight Of The Jefftruder said...

Oh, great, I wrecked another name. I'm supposed to be on F. Oh, well, I will use F now.

I neglected to mention that if you absolutely have to have other people spend their labour cooking potato skins for you, they make them at the U of A.

Here's some info from their HTML doc:


A process for manufacturing an edible food product includes making a mixture of sodium alginate, sodium caseinate and carrageenan, and adding this mixture to water at a temperature high enough to bring about substantially complete dissolution. The resultant slurry is spread as a film on a surface, and heated to cause partial drying. The film is then contacted by a solution of calcium chloride so that sodium atoms in the film are replaced by calcium atoms, thus adding strength to the film...

25. The process claimed in claim 23, in which the said desired shape is that of a half potato, and in which the recited steps are followed by filling the shaped film with pre-prepared mashed potato, and by freezing the filled, shaped film...


It is known to use certain kinds of thin casings for sausages and the like, these being normally made from extruded tubes of film plastics, or cleaned animal intestines. Other casings are the thick shells or casings normally made from flour, starch and/or colloidal materials which are molded and dried or baked. An example would be ice-cream cones.

However, the baked potato shells currently available on the market are made from real baked potatoes from which the content has been removed. The shells are then refilled with pre-garnished mashed potatoes, frozen and marketed as frozen baked stuffed potatoes.

The main problem with the natural baked potato shell has to do with the tediousness and expense of preparing them. Further, there is no guarantee of consistent quality or complete safety, because it often happens that bits of grit and dirt remain on the skin, despite rigorous cleaning...

METHOD (abridged)

The three primary and preferred materials are the first three listed, namely sodium alginate, sodium caseinate and carrageenan.

The wheat bran suggested in the above formula is provided for its nutritional value, and for the food fiber which it contains. It is not powdered, and does not mix homogeneously with the other ingredients. It lends chewability and an attractive appearance to the final product. However, it should be considered merely as an optional additive, depending upon the degree of nutrition and fiber that is desired, and the required final appearance of the product.

Cooking oil is added mainly as a lubricant. Any suitable edible lubricant could be utilized.

The purpose of the coloring material is self-evident. Caramel is the preferred coloring since it is a natural substance rather than an artificial one, and it does tend to give a shade of coloring similar to that of a baked potato skin.

We have found that a satisfactory slurry can be made by mixing 10 parts of the mix with 90 parts of water.

The next primary step is that of molding, where the film is intended to provide an article like a baked potato skin. Molding can be carried out in a mold made of aluminum or other suitable material, having a male and female part.

We have found that the reheated product has an appearance, texture and taste closely resembling those of superior baked potatoes. The present invention thus allows "baked potatoes" of a consistent quality, safety and nutrition to be produced and marketed all year round."

I hope this helps. When at the U of A, ask for Buncha Ooraikul and Nathan Aboagye. Or take my advice, and don't.

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

The last time I was at Costco, I am sure they had some "T.G.I. Fridays" brand potato skins in the freezer. You'd still have to, you know, turn on an oven and stuff, but desperate times call for desperate cookie sheets, am I right?

Benchmark said...

Earl, Joanne came up with a solution for you. Go to the nearest M&M Meat Shop store (there are 13 of 'em in Edmonton), and you can buy pre-made heat-n-eat stuffed potato skins. Snapshot from (no direct link):
60 seconds nuked or 12 minutes baked, and a cheesy be-baconed disemboweled tuber is all yours, my friend.

Earl J. Woods said...

Thanks to everyone who chipped in with recipes and frozen alternatives! A friend at work also noted that Don Cherry's has them. That leaves me with two discomfiting alternatives: cook them myself or frequent a sports bar. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something...